This was a ton of fun! Molecule showed the works of 9 local artists as part of the growing series, Art Meets Design. What characterizes their work is the intensity of their content.
Some were thinking of product design and production, if not industrially, clearly referentially and symbolically. Like the work of poet and craftman Andrew Davis of Wordmorgue, who considers in his artwork “the nature of work, craft, and the relationship
of words and things“. Cabinet maker for more than 30 years, Andrew works with wood, concrete and cast metal. His objects include text from his poems, generally roman typography and short combinations of words that form poignant brief statements as haikus.
His Phallus Hardware prototypes were born from a previous sculpture Andrew brought by to Molecule one day. It was a misterious cerulean suitcase that opened into three sides, each side containing a somewhat Alice in Wonderland environment, three different rooms of a house with lamps, coat hooks, windows, and furniture, forming the elements of a narrative that clearly had feminine fantasy overtones. Some of the objects in the rooms were phallic in shape. From our brainstorm, the hardware ended up disengaged from the art piece and became actual doorhandle prototypes to be considered in an architectural presence that we showed at Molecule for a while. The bronze casts from the wood pieces in the suitcase were powerful strong art objects that had bridged playfully, again in the manner of Wordmorgue, into functionality. Accompanying the hardware, resting on a beautiful long wood table, also crafted by Andrew, were elegant wall typograpy pieces to complete Andrew’s installation. The public was certainly intrigued.
Andrew also offered a reading of his long poem Impluvium a few days later at the 2012 New Topographies/An Evening at Molecule-Design Lab.
Other works were beyond cool and as well intensely poetic. One of these was Aquaculture, an organic floor installation made from turquoise garden hose by installation artist Cheri Ibes. From her Japanese influence, as Cheri lived in Japan for many years, the many meticulously cut pieces of blue hose with white interior, were clustered in segments and installed on the ground, and were reminiscent of oceanic vegetation, with references of color and line to wood-cut drawings. Japan was in the air. The clusters organically invaded the areas around the furniture, and floor, wanting to proliferate in waves of blue and white circles.
The piece also grew and extended outdoor behind and around some bushes on the SW-facing side of the building, merging with leaves and weeds, in a great complement of colors and textures.
The candy gun photogram from the series Stupid Candy by photographer and sculptor Matthew Gray printed on vinyl, strongly stood out. Matthew creates his images only after he has intensely indulged in his subterranean alchemical mad-scientist laboratory of wild processes.
His action turns discarded objects into beautiful luminous and transparent colored sugar objects. Sugar is his medium. He sets up studios as he meanders through different city journeys. They become spaces turned into dungeons of demented methods, ironically and by contrast, involving the sweetness of melted sugars, almost as metaphor or artistic coping mechanism, merging the brutality of chaos with pink and red clear sweet.
The layers drip down multicolored from walls and counters, splashed deliberately everywhere, over piles of debris, on floors, running on pavement, melted and boiling in large tall pots over stoves, or torched later on surfaces, sometimes illogically and others, formed into large monolithic sculptures that look like glass, mounted on rough bases of two by fours and wheels. A punk hoarder of trash and monstrous measures, that springboard exquisite crystalline things later collected as jewels studied and exposed to light sensitive paper, as did Man Ray, without the use of a camera.
Between pots and pans, multiple electrical stoves, recycled and made molds, trash and literally tons of bagged sugar ordered industrially, melted with colored inks, Mathew makes magic truly happen. The objects of his images are iconic, and reference american culture.
Martin Spei‘s characters, the little capitalists, carrying a case sometimes, barefoot and with bunions, speak of America’s trademark, the commercial culture. In Train, the arms are so heavy, they stretch and extend backward. The little guy, as a Sisyphus without a globe, carries his body instead as that burden of heaviness, having to lounge widely before each step. “What I find appealing about the capitalists is the representation of love of capital in the form of these ponderous and somewhat cuddly, elephantine gentlemen. I don’t actually have this love of capital myself. All characters are on the same morphological pattern and each carries this enigmatic red case in quest of his own destiny. Their sumo-like bodies dressed in business suits are meant to symbolize contemporary individuals in a prosperous society.” Train is made of cast bronze and leather.
The Great Americans, by street and art photographer Richard Baron, is a series of iconic americans, shot from a TV monitor. From El Paso, Texas, Richard has lived in New York City and Santa Fe, NM. His work has been published in The Village Voice, The SoHo Weekly News, Esquire, The NY Times Sunday Magazine, and Travel & Leisure. “I am largely informed by what’s often called “The New York School”—the black and white street photography prevalent during my youth. I love making straightforward black-and-white photographs. After more than fifty years, I remain amazed at how a tad of visual information—minute gradations of tone–can render the complexities of existence“. Some of the themes Richard has been interested in are the facades of corporate headquarters, anonymous businessmen plowing the sidewalks of Wall Street, portraits at the US/Mexican border, self portraits in whorehouses in Ciudad Juarez, photos of fire, and anonymous graves.
The other artists were Mary Neihberg with her luscious large format nudes, unusually baroque and sometimes irreverent, lit beautifully and soft textured. Ashley Rowe‘s intriguing abstract paintings on mylar, Darwin Nix‘s symbolic prints based on visual and word codes from the narco-culture, and College of Santa Fe’s student Julia Griffin‘s exterior light projections.
Chef James Campbell kept everyone going with delicious Strawberry Gazpacho in tiny shot glasses and other amazing La Boca tapas. We had a wonderful turnout for Opening Night, and next day’s Market Day. Thank you all for coming and supporting the artists and Molecule!